Into the Tree

A hazy paleness pressed against a pine in the distance drawing us onward. Henry kept to the front, brandishing his lantern like a cudgel against the night.

“You really think, Cynthia’s a witch?” Henry asked, his voice thick with whiskey. “She’s awful young.”

Cal’s response was fervent. “She is, she is! I saw her hex Joan Crawford yesterday.”

I kept my council to myself. I didn’t believe Cal, nor did I think Cynthia was a witch but if I didn’t help look, people would remember. There was already talk that the Adder family was protecting witches too.

As we drew closer, I could see an outline of Cynthia against a great pine. As I was about to call to her, she vanished, leaving her nightgown to float to the ground.

We rushed forward, but Cal got there first. “Lord Jesus, protect me from Satan’s power!” he whimpered.

The empty night gown pooled white at his feet. No, not quite empty. There were two shades of white there. Milky white skin nestled inside the gown but both were flat and empty against the ground.

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